Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 20: Into the polar vortex

What a week this has been.  On Monday, packers came to our apartment and packed up our home of the last 4.5 years.  It's the first place Papa Bear and I lived together, the only place our cats have ever lived (aside from their brief stint with the crazy cat rescue lady, but that's a separate story) and the place where Lemon first came home from the hospital when he was born.  On Tuesday, the movers came and loaded all of our worldly possessions onto a giant truck bound for Wisconsin.

After that, we decamped to Nona and Opa's house for a few days until our flight to Madison.  Throughout all of this, we were saying our final goodbyes to so many wonderful friends.  Thursday there was a huge snow storm, which added a surreal sense to the whole experience, not to mention making the logistics of getting around on our last few days in Boston a bit more difficult.  Opa had to drive us through the falling snow for one last visit to Lemon's pediatrician for his January Synegis shot--giving us about a month buffer to get stuff set up for him in our new home before the February dose comes due.

On Saturday morning, Opa drove us back to our old apartment one last time to collect the cats and a few other things that we'd left there.  The cats were so thoroughly traumatized by being left alone in an empty apartment that catching them and putting them in their carriers was surprisingly easy--it's funny how both for them and for me, as soon as the stuff and the people were out of the apartment, it immediately ceased to be "home" in any real sense.  It just felt like an empty apartment.  So, with everyone and everything packed up, it was finally time to fly.

This is where the real hero of this week's post, my friend and colleague Dave, makes his entrance.  There are many wonderful things about Dave, but three of them are that he is unbelievably, incredibly generous, that he owns a jet, and that he has a nice camera and enjoys using it.  Combine these things and you have the heart of this week's post--the illustrated story of our flight to Madison on Dave's plane.  Dave's plane lives at the Hanscom airport west of Boston, so we drove out there and loaded all our cargo and pets onto the plane (note the snazzy DNA double helix on the body of the plane!).

Once everything was loaded up, we were towed out onto the tarmac where we fueled up and took off. 

Some of us were decidedly more impressed by the experience than others. 

After a very quick, smooth flight, we touched down in Madison, our new home.  It is really impossible for us ever to thank Dave enough for flying us out to Madison--managing all our bags, two cats, and the baby on a commercial flight would have been an absolute nightmare, and instead of that we had the easiest, plushest flight experience possible.  Hopefully some day and in some small way we'll be able to do something equally memorable for Dave.

Once we were on the ground, we got everything off the plane and into a rental car, and Dave drove over to our new house.  There, we got the cats set up in the basement and left them to their own devices to recover from the trauma of the last few days.

Our stuff doesn't get here until later in the week, so we're camped out at a hotel downtown in the mean time, with all the joys of sharing a hotel room with an infant.  Luckily for us, Nona and Aunt Donna drove out here in Nona's car to meet us, so we've had their help and company during this transition.

 To finish off the week, we bought our first car.  As those of you who know me can appreciate, this was a big step, since I haven't actually driven a car in about 4 years, and have driven a total of maybe 200 miles in my entire life.  The combination of the move to Madison and Lemon's arrival made it pretty much essential to have a car, though, so we'd made all the arrangements while in Boston and then went over to the dealership to pick it up.  Interestingly, the air temperature in Madison was around -18F when we headed out to get it, due to a weather pattern called a polar vortex--or, perhaps, due to hell freezing over, it's not clear.

All in all, it still feels like we're on some very weird trip, not that we've moved.  I don't know when that will really sink in--maybe when our stuff finally arrives?  Next week will be another big one, as we get our new house set up, Papa Bear has his first real full week of work, I begin my search for someone to watch Lemon when I go back to work, and we have Lemon's first appointment at the CF clinic here.  Then maybe I'll hibernate until April.

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